67 Minutes in Second Life (Mandela Day)
It is middle July and it is winter in South Africa. It is also an important day on 18 July in Africa and in the world – a celebration of and for Madiba: “Mandela Day is an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them”, according to the campaign website.
A year ago, myriam Martinek (inSL) visited our Africa in VirtualWorlds blog and posted this fascinating reply to our blog entry, Mandela’s Freedom in Virtual Worlds:
But tomorrow will be far more than a worldwide birthday celebration; it is ultimately a time of reflection about the values that he represents – undefinable in its influence to (still) move people to do what is just and humble – the “right thing”. He is a person shaped by Africa, saying about himself: “I am what I am, both as a result of people who respected me and helped me, and of those who did not respect me and treated me badly”. We think of other political leaders in the world that are simply unable to respond with grace and wisdom in the face of adversity, and often feed a climate of collective distrust and violence from their own personal fear.myriam Martinek, Africa in Virtual Worlds, Jul 2008
You should read the whole article. Incidently, it is STILL the blog entry that is one of the most popular ones in this journal of our experiences. But more importantly, it is important to know that when it turns 18 July 2009, it is President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He turns 91 and leaves us a legacy, which is now honoured globally with the first annual MANDELA DAY. Uthango inSL also brings this day to Second Life – like last year – and gives virtual worlds’ users the opportunity to be part of the campaign.
Commit 67 minutes of your life to make a difference in the world. So we all ask ourselves the question: What am I doing to add value to the world beyond self? Please join us in Second Life and pledge your action – it will only take a few minute and then you can venture forward to the grand opening of the Relay for Life at noon on the same day. It is so appropriate that this successful nonprofit has their main RFL fundraising event inSL this weekend.
On a personal note: For me (Alanagh Recreant inSL) it is simple and very real: I have disappointed someone by not prioritising her desire to make a tangible difference to a young girl’s life in Africa. I was busy with an organisational vision, personal challenges and …. well, life. And ironically I truly know the possibilities of one individual changing the living conditions for another. I see it every single day. I hope for more of it, and wish for more people with such hearts and minds. In spite of it, one such golden opportunity slipped through the cracks of my rushed life. It saddens me. I am wondering how to change it …. That is my personal quest today and tomorrow. No bells and whistles; just reaching out in the right direction for one person.